Welcome to our Math home page.

September 14th
Mr. Suarez and Mr. Greggo provided professional development on how to create groups in ARIS. Creating groups in ARIS is a requirement for all math teachers this year. Specific students we may be interesed in targeting are ELL's, lowest 3rd or former ELL's. Because ELL's did not meet AYP in our progress report special attention has been given to this subgroup of students. Once groups are formed you name will appear in a dropdown menu. If you click your name you will have access to your group. Any questions should be direct to Mr. Suarez or Mr. Greggo.
September 26
Please review the document below. This is current data results of our students, by sub-group, on our 2011 NYS Mathematics Assessment.

oct 3,2011
Ms.napolitano,Mr palmeri,Mr.bauer- met for the third time to discuss and go over curriculum ( order of topics that make sense),pacing calendar,and appropriate material to support the teaching.The team discussed as well the pacing and order for the sp 8th grade classes.

Oct 4, 2011
Math team meeting held in the teacher center. Mr. Suarez went over the quarterly exam as well as assigning problem of the week to our classes. As a team we all agreed to utilize the quarterly as both a benchmark and a final for each marking period. The quarterly will be given at the beginning and at the end of the marking period to help us analyze growth.

October 18th
Talking points of today's meeting are as follows:
-Mr. Greggo briefly reviewed Danielson's teaching practices and the Santa cruz continuum for best teaching practices.
-discussed observation schedule. If anyone would like to schedule an observation they need only email Mr. Greggo.
-classroom environment of paramount importance. Classroom environment should express teacher's enthusiasm for mathematics. Explained students will get distracted. Classroom environment must be engaging enough to maintain students attention on mathematics. Examples are: student goals, word wall, assessments (graffiti walls), references of past lessons, etc.
-parent communication very important. Suggested an online gradebook. This is the direction we’re headed anyway. Online gradebooks require a one time set up but then all calculations populate automatically. Parents can log into online gradebook and get real time info on child.
-Data on students very important and enable differentiation and flexible grouping. ARIS has a lot of info..ells, iep students, parent contact, days absent, prior nys results on assessments, etc. Use it!
-Further information on students with IEPs can be found on SESIS. Everyone has access. Ms. V. discussed what information can be found including math goals. Collaboration should be made with case manager to help student achieve goals.
-Collaboration should be made with science department. Students are currently studying units of measurement in science.
-Mr. Suarez review creation of examview assessments for the end of the 1st marking period. Teachers will receive one class set with 3 class sets of scantrons. Next marking period assessment will be done online.
-Teachers are reminded to submit their pre-planning sheet no later than Thursday October 20th.
Election Day Team Meeting:

November 8, 2011
Common Core PD - Presented by F.Suarez- Agenda

Nov 14, 2011
8th Grade topics for the Second Quarter
Factoring Polynomials
Equations- writing, solving one step and two step
Angles- Supplementary and Complementary
Transversal Geometry

7th Grade topics for Second Quarter
-Laws of Exponents
-Scientific notation
-Types of numbers (rational/irrational)
-Square roots
-Negative exponents
-Distributive property
-Combining like terms
-Solving equations
-Surface area and volume of prisms and cylinders
-Ratios and Proportions

6th Grade Topics for the Second Quarter
Multiplying Mixed Numbers,
Dividing Mixed Numbers,
Decimal Place Value,
Rounding Decimals,
Adding Decimals,
Subtracting Decimals,
Multiplying Decimals,
Dividing Decimals,
Converting Decimals, Fractions & Percents,
Sales, Discounts,
Ratio and Proportions
introduction to integers

November 29
Today we discussed the mathematics CEP goal. Teachers reviewed the information and added feedback.

Annual Goal
By June 2012, mathematics teachers will develop, administer and analyze a core common task at the 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels resulting in an increased understanding of mathematics, as evidence by the results of the core common task.
Comprehensive needs assessment
Based on the citywide instructional expectations for 2011-2012 and in an effort to increase the academic rigor in mathematics, students must demonstrate the construction of a viable argument and further demonstrate mathematical modeling by utilizing their knowledge of mathematical practices according to the Common Core State Standards. Within these practices students must demonstrate the following:
1) Making sense of the problem and persevere in solving them
2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively
3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
4) Model with mathematics
5) Use appropriate tools strategically
6) Attend to precision
7) Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
8) Look for and make use of structure
*taken from CCSS for mathematics
Instructional Strategies/Activities
To implement the above mentioned goal, research-based instructional strategies and activities will be utilized. Currently, the mathematics department at M.S. 217 utilizes the use of a “Problem of the Week”. The problem of the week is a constructed response question to which students must import the above mentioned mathematical practices. Weekly use of this task increases the academic demand we put on students and further, scaffolds upon student’s mathematic skills. Within each class, students receive a differentiated approach to addressing the “Problem of the Week”. We recognize the different starting points of each student and seek to build upon their skills based on their level. Additional strategies for ELL students will be addressed. Such strategies include the introduction of essential vocabulary before beginning the task, use of visuals, scaffolding upon background knowledge and differentiated learning groups. For students with disabilities, the above mentioned strategies will be utilized. Additional steps include reviewing the student’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan), anticipating potential barriers to learning and providing and accommodations to meet the student’s individual needs. Trained ELL and Special Education staff will be utilized to implement the above mentioned strategies for the specified sub-groups. Steps taken to include teachers in the decision-making regarding the above mentioned goal and strategies, is a weekly department meeting with the mathematics department. During the time teachers meet in grade teams to discuss and determine strategies to be utilized grade and/or class wide. Additionally, professional development provided by our network and lead teacher will be directed to support teachers, as they create and develop this task. Timeline for implementation, which includes professional development for teachers, team and department meetings, scaffolding and design of task, identifying additional resources and support services for ELLs and Special Education subgroups will be from September 2011 until May 2012.
Parent Involvement
Strategies for increased parental involvement include the pilot of online grading software. Through this experience, parents have the opportunity to view student attendance by period, assignments, report cards, and student schedule. Additionally, students will be able to track their child’s high school readiness with the high school readiness tracker. Another strategy for increased parental involvement is the introduction of “Math Night”. Through this experience, parents will come to school with their children and be immersed in the fun and beauty of mathematics.

Further, we revisited the expectations for classroom environment and discussed the use of student portfolios and setting goals to increase student accountibility.

December 6th
Today's we discussed the changes to the 2012 NYS mathematics assessment. Changes include the use of 3 books for each of the grades (6th, 7th, 8th). Book 1 and book 2 will be administered on Day 1 lasting 2 hours for general education students. Students who require additional time include SWD and ELL's students. Their Day 1 will last 3 to 4 hours depending on their accomodations. We discussed our plan to increase student stamina when taking assessments since the state is requiring an increased length of time. It should and will become routine for students to expect a longer assessment, as it will be a shock for some students. Book 3 will be administered on day 2 for students and will likely be comprised of extended response questions. Addtionally, we reviewed the 5 content strands and the percentage of each on each of the assessments. Further, we discussed question formats, use of calculators, use of Pi, use of reference sheets, rulers and progractors. Mathematics scoreing policies were also reviewed. Teachers were given this document containing all the changes described above.

December 13
Today during our meeting we discussed M.S. 217's status as a SINI (School In need of Improvement) school. We reviewed the SINI response plan and how it will affect our classrooms and lessons. We were also informed about expectations and visitations. Some expectations discussed included adherence to our CEP goal, SINI goal and the instructional expectations goal of the core common task. All three revolve around one dynamic, Problem (Task) of the Week. Mr. Suarez informed us that the fact that the problem of the week is part of our routine puts us ahead of other schools in terms of student preparedness. We absolutely must continue with the pow and make that a priority. Further, it must be evident within our classroom environment and hallways. Mr. Gold mentioned how important it is for students to use relevent vocabulary and suggested WOW's (Words of the Week). In whatever form, vocabulary (and its use) plays a big part in understanding the mathematics. Anoher point stressed was the fact that our ELL students did not meet AYP in mathematics, ELA or Science (which is the reason for our SINI status). Vocabulary plays an even more important role for ELL students as they strive to aquire both language and mathematics skills. We must work to incorporate the two via differentiated learning techniques and strategies and alternate pathways of instruction.

Teachers are encouraged to add their thoughts, suggestions and lesson plans to the wiki pages. Additionally, teachers were encouraged to volunteer to provide and attend professional development. If you/we see something that works in our classrooms, please share it!

If the computers have Examview, please utilize that program to administer the end of the marking period assessment!!!! See Mr. Suarez for assistance.

Getting Ready for CCSS-Student samples of mini task(POWs)

January 3
Today during our department meeting we discussed the following:
1)Welcome back to a new year! Please take the time to review and/or set new goals with students!
2)Be sure they are evident within classroom environment...Why?
3)February 1 is our mock quality review. This is when a team of people what arount and take "snapshots" of our classrooms. They deduce what is going on in our classrooms from out classroom environments.
4)You will receive coach books January 23.
5) Ells program begins January 10th. Any ELL or former ELL student who you feel would benefit from this program please refer them.
6) Begin end of the marking period assessments. If you have examview, PLEASE utilize it! If not, you will be trained on how to use the scanner and have to submit results spreadsheet.
Next Steps: Nexts week's meeting will be all about the common task!

January 13
Math Department Meeting Minutes – 1/10/12
I. Mock Quality Review: February 1st Key focus on:
v ELLs / special education
§ Teachers should show how they are working to advance each group
v Vocabulary: emphasis on vocabulary words (including word of the week W.O.W)
word wall should be utilized by students
v Goal setting : all students should have updated goals (know who are your former ELLs and their goals). Suggestion: review goals during last 10 minutes of period to have students evaluate how they’re working to reach those goals.
v Evidence of differentiation
v Know why are we doing POWs -the data shows that our students do not respond well on extended response questions. POWs will assist us as we work toward building student competency and familiarity with common core tasks.
v Know why are we teaching what we are doing in the classroom. Teaching of each topic is based on data and discussions in team meetings
v Acuity and homework should be utilized to review performance indicators and perform remediation.
II. Common core task should be completed by students by the 2nd week of February.
Mr. Suarez will let the dept know if he needs the work of each student.

III. Second marking period assessment must be completed by end of week.
Each teacher will then get a personalized report indicating what areas to review for their classes.
There was a request for an extension of this date. Mr. Greggo will let us know if it’s possible.
*Quarterly assessments will be placed on the server in one of three folders:
6th Grade Quarterly , 7th Grade Quarterly or 8th Grade Quarterly

IV. Predicative Assessments are in! Administer the test during the week of 1/23.
Make sure students take the assessment seriously.
Teachers will be able to log into Acuity and create student assignments based on the results.

V. Mr. Suarez to offer Professional Development to math teachers
Topics to include: Acuity, Exam View
Teachers must set up classes on Exam View. If a teacher has an old version of Exam View the application shortcut will be square. The new version is round.
See Mr. Suarez if you have an old version.
-Set up students using name and ID ( i.e. 1801, 2801, 3801, 4801..) according to section sheet.

If you need any additional supplies, see Mr. Greggo. Chart paper is available.

Pacing Calendar:


March 5th

  1. Reviewing 6th, 7th and 8th grade common core tasks
a) Review task-Provide relevant feedback on wiki
b) Review rubric-Provide relevant feedback on wiki
c) Compare classes- Provide general results on wiki
d) Look at Resources

2.Reviewing 6th, 7th and 8th grade pacing calendars
a) Review pacing as a grade
b) Provide relevant feedback on Wiki
c) What would you like to see added/omitted

3.Reviewing Acuity Data
a) We will review data by grade
b) Teachers review data by class
c) Teachers assign remediation to students
d) Teachers create April recess packages by grade

4.Introduction to Skedula
a) What is it?
b) What can it do?
c) What are the benefits?
d) Math department must take a leadership role in its implementation.


6. 28 more instructional days until NYS assessment
a) Acuity is great for differentiation!
b) Keep up the Tasks of the Week!!!!
c) Implement Coach books into lessons
d) Your assessments should use questioning from past NYS assessments

Thank you!!!!!!!!

Rubrics for Common Core

Publishing Test on Examview

Grade 6 Findings:
About 95% of 6th graders correctly identified the ratio in part a correctly
About 70% of 6th graders correctly answered part b correctly
Most students had difficulty in answering part c - the reason they may have had difficulties is because of the distractors (understanding the question is asking for the total number of keys)
The rubric established was very helpful in marking the responses
Even though we had a rubric we each applied it differently. In addition the rubric will be revised to
1) create a more specific explanation of the expectations for the students which shows content and practice (grade level appropriate strategy)
2) grade each part according to the 1- 4 scale and add the total score for each part in order to reflect a level specific grade.
3) prepare the students for the expectations of the task through practice and sharing the rubric


7th grade team consisting of Ms. Seylar, Ms. Bruno, Mr. Phillips, Ms. Armstrong, Mr. D.Jackson, Mr. Goldstein, Mr. Gold, Mr. Parrino, today we discussed the 7th grade task on proportional reasoning. We all determined that the wording on this task was not clear enough for the students. For instance, full credit was to be given if the student used a proportion, but in the instructions this was not written. The only way the student would of known to use a proportion was if they practiced this in mini-task early in the week. In addition, unit rate is to be taught as a post- exam concept, and therefore some students were not introduced to any such vocabulary, as a result not prepared to solve it. Lastly, the clock given in the example was blurry, and unfortunately most students cannot read analog clocks, a digital clock may of been a better choice. By evidence of student work, most students were not able to set up the proportion, or cross multiply correctly, and as such, most students did not earn full credit on this task. We feel that students not having the basic multiplication and division skills impaired their ability to cross multiply and arrive at the correct solution. Moving forward while creating future rubrics, they must be more specific to content, strategy and appropriate to grade level. It is extremely important that the students know what is expected of them with a detailed rubric, before they complete the task.

Grade 8 Feedback on Common Core Task and Rubric
- Part C of the Task needs the wording changed a bit to suit the desired outcome from the student.
- The rubric needs to be more task specific
- The score of 4 and the score of 3 both seem similar in rating- maybe change some of the wording
- The rubric should state exactly what we are expecting of our students to accomplish

8th Grade Pacing with UBD on Equation link

April 3

Grade 8 team: C. Castillo, J. Greggo, D. Guadalupe

Analysis for 8th grade 3rd marking period assessment:

  • 14 questions with more than 40 percent incorrect with 8 distractors
  • Q8: B (correct answer); D (distractor); Finding Slope Using Points (Question Type)
  • Q17: D (correct); A (distractor); Slope -- Y Intercept (Question Type)
  • Q18: D (correct); A (distractor); Graphing Equations: Slope -- Y Intercept (Question Type)
  • Q19: A (correct); no distractor; Finding Slope Using A Graph (Question Type)
  • Q22: A (correct); C (distractor); Geometric Transformations (Reflection)
  • Q27: A (correct); D (distractor); Translations
  • Q30: B (correct); no distractor); Relationships/Rate of Change
  • Q34: D (correct); A (distractor); Percent as Ratios
  • Q40: C (correct); A (distractor); Sales Tax
  • Q44: D (correct); B (distractor); Percent Increase
  • Q45: A (correct); B & C (distractors); Simple Interest
  • Q46: D (correct); no distractor; Percent Increase
  • Q47: D (correct); no distractor; Ratios & Percents
  • Q48: C (correct); no distractor; Ratios & Percents

Note, stamina was a concern with eight graders, slope, ratios & percents, and geometric transformations.

Grade 7 Math – 534 Exams Graded
      • of Question
% Right Answer
% Distractor
Type of Question
B – 246 – 46%
Decimal Division. Evaluating formulas
C – 54%
B – 23%
GCF – factor chosen, but not the greatest
D – 46%
B – 29%
Customary conversion of yards and feet, regarding volume
A – 54%
B – 24%
Converting fractions to percent.
Lack of knowledge of comparison of %s to fractions.
D – 56%
Incorrect use of unit measures. Process of elimination and/or to know the mass of a car.
B – 55%
A – 35%
Changing a phrase to an algebraic equation.
Vocabulary – not interpreting key word – less – to a subtraction.

6th Grade
33 problems out of the 50 that 40%+ got wrong.
10 questions that 60% or higher got them wrong.
Stamina is an issue.
#50 is a yes or no question. 23 students show C or D, which was not an option.

Focus of Questions
4, 44, 45 had to do with area and volume. Students added when should have multiplied, or they multiplied incorrectly.
31 - find the mean. Student didn't correctly average.
37, 38 - students rounded incorrectly.
47 is an algebra problem
48 comparing fractions -
49 solving equation

Class 652 outperformed the grade.

Out of last 7 questions, the only one they did okay on was 46 - modeling relationships with equations.
May 1- Math Department Meeting
We discussed the upcoming QR and the focus of our topics during that week. We all agreed that we should be within the means of the pacing calendar so that we are all focusing around the same topics within our classroom.

May 8th - Math Department meeting

The two main topics for today's meeting were the Blackline Test and the upcoming Quality Review.
Each teacher should be receiving copies of the blackline test that will be administered to every student.
Students should be able to complete the test during a double-period, but no more than 3 periods should be allocated for the test. Teachers will need to prepare a portfolio including the graded blackline with a POW for the students who perform below standards on the state math test.

In preparation for the Quality Review, math teachers should update bulletin board / word walls and continue to use POW's. Teacher should also make sure they are familiar with student goals on IEP's.

May 15th - Math Department meeting

Mr. Greggo reminded teachers of his request for a lesson plan. The lesson plans will be placed in a binder as evidence of the quality of instruction at 217. Plans should include differentiated tasks and demonstrate an awareness of the needs of our ELL's and students with disabilities.

The upcoming Quality Review will be conducted by the state. All bulletin boards inside and outside the classroom must be updated. Make sure comments on student work include next steps, i.e. "This is fantastic. Next time you should...." or " I like the way you solved the problem, next time...". Also make sure the rubric is hung up along with the student work.

In the last remaining days of school use technology as much as possible to keep the students engaged.

Administer the Blackline tests as soon as you get them. Mr. Greggo will sent out a priority list which will specify the names of those students whose test should be graded first.

Visit the Math wikispaces page to add comments, concerns, and feedback. The site should be more interactive; it should be utilized as a place for more dialogue. So add a comment!

Next year's state test will allow grade 6, 7 & 8 students to use a calculator, ruler, and protractor so the expectation is that more writing and analysis will be required. The pass/fail list with the results of this year's test is expected to be delivered on or about June 11th.

Revised Grade 8 Pacing Calendar

UBD for grade 8 on Equation Task -

September 10, 2012
Crosswalk of Common Core Instructional Shifts: Mathematics

1) Focus

2) Coherence


4)Deep Understanding


6)Duel Intensity

What have we done so far for each?

Are our classrooms set up for student success?

1) Furniture is set up to establish accountable talk
2) First impression to observer is “This room is obviously a (subject) room”/resources are easily accessible
3) Room is clean and free of boxes, old no longer used textbooks, organized for success
4) Teacher lesson plan is available
5) Note any needs (furniture, fixes, graffiti removal, etc)
6) Student materials